It’s still unclear whether he made a pitch to Toyota, whose executives have said they will soon announce a $1.6 billion joint factory in the U.S. with fellow Japanese auto maker Mazda.
All we know from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s itinerary from his most recent Japan trip is that he visited Nagoya, close to the Toyota headquarters, and met with an undisclosed prospect in Osaka before heading to Tokyo.
But the governor didn’t have to reel in one big fish to make a splash with Japanese investors during his latest trade mission to the country.
Even not counting private meetings with future prospects, Mr. Deal personally met with seven companies that have a stock of at least $660 million in Georgia investment and employ more than 5,000 people.
That’s according to a quick analysis of the figures provided in the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s briefing notes on the itinerary, plus a sweep of the Global Atlanta archives highlighting the $250 million Yamaha invested in its personal watercraft and vehicle factory in Newnan.
And these are baseline figures. For instance, YKK set up shop in the 1970s in Macon, becoming one of the state’s first Japanese investors, but the numbers track capital invested only since 2006. They also don’t include the newest figures after Yamaha moved most of its ATV production to Georgia in 2011.
During one of his final nights in the country, the governor and his whole delegation held a reception for those firms they couldn’t meet one-on-one. That included a planned 130 current Japanese investors at an event sponsored by Columbus, Ga.-based Aflac Inc. and the Coca-Cola Co., both of which have long-term operations in Japan.
In total, the state counts 500-plus Japanese facilities employing more than 30,000 people.
Below is the list of those who traveled with the governor:
- First Lady Sandra Deal
- Pat Wilson, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
- Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
- Camila Knowles, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
- Malcolm Smith, Second Vice President, Government Relations, Aflac
- Griff Lynch, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority
- Chris Carpenter, Partner, Garrett McNatt Hennessey Carpenter 360 LLC
- Jay Neely, Vice President, Law & Public Affairs, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
- Hala Moddelmog, President & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber
- Ben Jarrard, Natural Resources,Transportation and Economic Development Policy, Office of the Governor
- Katy Sharp, Manager of Agency Affairs, Office of the Governor
From the GDEcD:
- Bert Brantley, COO
- Tom Croteau, Deputy Commissioner, Global Commerce
- Mary Waters, Deputy Commissioner, International Trade
- Scott McMurray, Division Director, Global Commerce
- Nico Winberg, Director, International Investment
- Joseph Huntemann, Project Manager, International Investment
- Dee Ford, Senior Global Account Manager, Marketing and Communications
- Nicole Rateau, Global Account Manager, Marketing and Communications
A Georgia Department of Economic Development spokesperson confirmed there were no deviations from the planned itinerary or the delegation list.